sinostega skeleton

Sinostega pani

An incomplete left lower jaw belonging to a tetrapod was discovered in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, northwest China, in 2002. The specimen, which is about 7 cm long, was named Sinostega panni. Regarded as distinct from any previously known taxa, it most closely resembles Acanthostega.

Sinostega is the first Devonian tetrapod recorded from Asia, which at the time was a series of equatorial land masses north and somewhat west of the eastern margin of Gondwana (a massive paleocontinent that included modern-day South America, Africa, Antarctica and Australia). Sinostega is also one of only two Devonian tetrapods recorded from outside of Euramerica (a paleocontinent that included much of modern North America and Europe); the other tetrapod, Metaxygnathus, was discovered in eastern Gondwana (present-day Australia).

Sinostega was collected from the Zhongming Formation, a non-marine deposit Late Famennian in age. Associated fossils include two lycopsids, Leptophloeum rhombicum and Sublepidodendron mirabile, two antiarch placoderms, Remigolepis and Sinolepis, and an undescribed lobe-fin fish.

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Web:
National Geographic News' article on Sinostega:
news.nationalgeographic.com/news/
2002/12/1218_021218_tetrapod.html
Chinese Academy of Sciences' page on Sinostega and Devonian lobe-fins:
english.cas.ac.cn/Eng2003/page/SRA/D_3.htm
Scientific Papers
Zhu, M., Ahlberg, P. E., Zhao, W., and Jia, L.. 2002. "First Devonian tetrapod from Asia." Nature 420:760.

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